Wild Boar

December 22, 2012


Sus scrofa

Native range: Eurasia

Invasive Range: Southeastern and Southwestern US, Midwest, California, Oregon, Hawaii. Spreading in the Northeast and Northwest.

Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats, from freshwater marshes to deserts. Common in forested areas with some openings.

Did the domestic ancestors of today’s feral pigs streak off De Soto’s ship into the Florida scrub of their own accord in 1539? Or did they have to be urged to go find something to eat? All you need to know about hogs to figure this out is that they’re omnivorous and smart.

Invasive range of the wild boar in the continental US

In 1893, a robber baron imported 50 wild boars from the Black Forest and released them on a 20,000-acre private hunting preserve in New Hampshire. In 1910 and 1912, Russian wild boars were released on a North Carolina preserve. Animals from there were introduced in 1925 near Monterey, California, then a few years later on Santa Cruz Island. The last such introduction followed in Texas in 1930. Some transplants escaped from these preserves. They often bred with domesticated pigs; their offspring bred with feral pigs; the population soared. Free-ranging of swine was legal in the US until it was outlawed in the mid-twentieth century as part of a disease-eradication effort.

Wild boars breed three times a year, each litter yielding five to ten more of them. Since the creature has no natural predators, the survival rate of a litter is about 100 per cent. A pig population can double in four months. On top of that, illegal translocation of hogs by humans has contributed to their range extension.

Today, feral pigs and pig-boar hybrids are found in at least 45 states, the largest populations in the coastal states surrounding the Gulf of Mexico and in California (not surprising, since Spanish explorers settled these). In locations where feral pigs have more recently been discovered, it is likely that these are escapees from domestic swine facilities, releases from game farms, or illegal stocking. “Ecological train wreck,” they’re being called in Texas by wildlife experts.

On beaches, wild boars eat sea turtle eggs. In the desert, they root up plants that may not regrow for generations. They eat farmers’ crops; they cause soil erosion. They are linked to an outbreak of E. coli in California spinach that made 200 hundred sick and killed three. They are known to carry or transmit more than 30 diseases and 37 parasites, including swine brucellosis, which can be fatal to people, and pseudorabies, which can kill endangered Florida panthers. They can carry trichinosis, a parasitic disease caused by a round worm that lodges in the host muscle.

When de Soto first arrived, these diseases may have ravaged Native American communities. In The Hernando de Soto Expedition, Ann Romenofsky and Patricia Galloway write that millions of Native people died because they lacked previous exposure to swine-borne diseases, such as brucellosis, leptospirosis, trichinosis, tuberculosis, cysticercosis, and several strains of flu.

These days, wild boar has been called the ultimate organic pork, a gourmet meat. (Just don’t undercook it.) Texas chef Jon Bonnell notes, “It’s a leaner meat. And because they’re raised on a natural diet, they’re a little smaller, got less fat. It’s a little healthier, and the flavor is just rich as can be.”

Wild boar tenderloin with asparagus sauce

Adapted from Hank Shaw, Hunter, Angler, Gardner, Cook (honest-food.net)

This recipe combines springtime veggies and a perfect meat for spring — wild boar tenderloin. The only hard part is making the sauce, and that isn’t so much difficult as it is time-consuming. And the sauce can be made up to a day ahead. After that, this dish comes together very quickly, so if you have this sauce ready, you can even do this recipe on a weeknight.

If you don’t have wild boar tenderloin use pork tenderloin or even top loin (what you eat in pork chops). This recipe would also be good with pheasant breast, lamb, venison, or even sturgeon. It is pretty versatile.

A word on the medium-cooked pork. This boar had been frozen for some time, which will kill any trichinae parasites should they be present (this is a remote possibility, but better safe than sorry). Should you have fresh pork, be sure to cook it to at least 140 degrees, which will kill the parasite; I cook mine to about 145-150 degrees, which is a blush of pink.

Serves 2

1 pound pork tenderloin or 1 pound pork loin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Kosher salt
1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 green garlic stalks
3 green onion stalks

1. Make the sauce. Get a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it well. it should taste like the sea. Blanch the green garlics and onions, white part down — hold them by the greens in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes. I suppose you could chop them in half and then blanch the two parts separately, but I have not tried this. After the white ends have been in for 3-4 minutes, toss the rest in and let it all boil for 2 minutes.

2. Remove and dump into a large bowl of ice water to cool. Take the veggies out and chop roughly. Put the green onions and green garlics into a food processor and buss the hell out of them, scraping down the sides from time to time. It will take a bit of doing to incorporate, but you will eventually get a bright green puree.

3. Now the hard part. Push the puree through a tamis or fine-meshed sieve. This will take some effort. Take your time and keep at it for about 10 minutes or so, or until there are only fibers in the mesh. Save the strained puree for now.

4. Salt the pork pieces well and set aside.

5. Turn on the broiler.

6. Using the tablespoon of olive oil, coat the asparagus well and then salt them.

7. Put one tablespoon of butter in a saute pan set on high heat. When the butter melts, turn the heat down to medium-high.

8. Put the asparagus under the broiler.

9. Saute the boar tenderloin over medium-high heat, turning to hit all sides. You are looking for medium here — just a blush of pink. When the tenderloins are about done, remove the asparagus (the timing should work out.)

10. Pour the green onion/garlic puree into a small pot and add the other tablespoon of butter, set of medium-low heat and swirl to combine. Do not let this boil. Add salt to taste.

11. Let the boar rest while the sauce heats up. The second the sauce begins to bubble, turn off the heat and lay down some sauce on the plate. Top with the asparagus, and then with the tenderloin cut thinly.

Nutria, wild boar, and crawfish egg roll towers

Makes 20 egg rolls
21/2 pounds ground nutria
1/2 pound ground wild boar
1/2 pound crawfish tails, chopped fine
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup sliced green onions
11/2 tablespoons Thai-style seasoning
20 egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
Peanut oil for deep-frying

1. In a large bowl, mix the nutria, wild boar, crawfish, water chestnuts, mushrooms, onions, and Thai seasoning. Brown the mixture in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Remove from the heat, drain, and cool.

3. Place 2 ounces of the mixture in each egg roll wrapper. Follow directions on the wrapper package for rolling and sealing the egg rolls.

4. Pour 3 inches of oil into a heavy, deep saucepan. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry the egg rolls until golden brown

5. Place three egg rolls in another wrapper and brush the edges of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Fold the edges over to create a bundle. Repeat until you have used up all the egg rolls. Fry the bundles until golden brown.

6. Slice open each bundle across the top on the bias. Place the egg rolls upright on a plate and serve with a sweet and spicy sauce. (Recipe courtesy of Prejeans Restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana)

Sir Kenelm Digby’s Roast Wild Boar Recipe of 1669

View here at Historical Foods.com

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Jenkins December 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    They have natural predators. Piglets can be taken by large birds of prey, coyotes, alligators, brown bears, the burmese python and mountain lions.

    There are limited areas where wild hogs would meet such creatures but they exist. Some of these creatures will take on a large hog but most will not.

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    Land

    800px-ChenopodiumAlbum001

    Lamb’s Quarters

    Lamb’s quarters was a popular spring tonic in the South—an early season edible green—but its leaves are good throughout the summer.       Chenopodium album Native range: Described by Linnaeus in 1753, this European native has been transferred throughout much of the world. Because its spread was rarely recorded, C. album‘s native and invasive [...]


      EAT ME!
      fennel01-l

      Wild Fennel

        Foeniculum vulgare Native range: Mediterranean, from Turkey west to Spain and Morocco Invasive range: Much of North and South America, South Africa, and parts of Oceania and the British Isles. Check out the USDA Plants Database to see if it’s found near you. Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, along the edge of wild habitats. Rocky shores [...]


        EAT ME!
        GarlicMustard1

        Garlic Mustard

          Alliaria petiolata Native range: Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa Invasive range: Much of the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada. (See map.) Habitat: Moist, shaded soil of floodplains, forests, roadsides, edges of woods, and forest openings. Often dominant in disturbed areas. Description: Biennial herb. First-year plant has a rosette of green leaves close to the ground. [...]


          EAT ME!
          Wild_boar

          Wild Boar

          Did the domestic ancestors of today’s feral pigs streak off De Soto’s ship into the Florida scrub of their own accord in 1539? Or did they have to be urged to go find something to eat? All you need to…


            EAT ME!
            burdoc87-l

            Burdock

            Native to the Old World, burdock’s introduction to North America was noted in 1672 by John Josselyn, a sharp-eyed English visitor, who used Gerard’s Herbal: The Historie of Plants of 1597 as a field guide. . . .


              EAT ME!

              Sea

              Pterois volitans

              Lionfish

              Some say it started in 1992 in Miami when Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank. Don’t blame the weather, others say; in the mid-nineties, disappointed yet softhearted hobbyists…


                EAT ME!
                chuka wakame

                Wakame

                  Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]


                  EAT ME!
                  Hemigrapsus_sanguineus_big

                  Asian Shore Crab

                  The first sighting of the Asian shore crab in the United States was at Townsend Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey, in 1988. Though the source is unknown . . .


                    EAT ME!
                    Periwinkles

                    Periwinkle

                    The common periwinkle, which first appeared in New England in the 1860s, is now found along the coast wherever there’s hard substrate–rocks, riprap, broken concrete, or docks–from Labrador to . . .


                      EAT ME!
                      Kleiner_Taschenkrebs_(Carcinus_maenas)

                      Green Crab

                      Since the green crab was first recorded off southern Massachusetts in 1817, it has been hard to ignore. A few minutes of rock-flipping in Maine can turn up dozens of them, brandishing their claws as they retreat…


                        EAT ME!

                        Fresh

                        Procambarus_clarkii_tank

                        Blue Plate Special: Red Swamp Crawfish

                        Spring is here, and it’s time for invasivores to think about our next culinary adventure. Get your 40-quart pots ready for a crawfish boil.


                          EAT ME!
                          bullfrog

                          Bullfrog

                          “They live in a wide variety of habitats, colonize new ones readily, and eat everything that fits into their mouths,” says Dr. Peter Moyle of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis…


                            EAT ME!
                            Distinguishing _ Channa argus

                            Northern Snakehead

                            His sister was ailing, and the man in Maryland remembered that, back home in Hong Kong, there was a fish that was considered a delicacy and a restorative. He would make a fish soup…


                              EAT ME!
                              Picture 1

                              Common Carp

                              For a bottom-feeder, what is the good life? The common carp isn’t very demanding: any body of water that’s sluggish and murky will do. One catching sewage or…


                                EAT ME!
                                nutria-mugshot

                                Nutria

                                Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .


                                  EAT ME!

                                  Field Notes

                                  flickr-wayne_marshall-knotweed-20140402

                                  Invasive Cuisine

                                  Joe Roman talks with Jane Lindholm of Vermont Public Radio about his mission to change what’s on our dinner plates. Listen here.


                                    EAT ME!
                                    lai-roman_fe1

                                    The Gourmet Invasivore’s Dilemma

                                    “The invasivore movement has caught fire. Some of the worst invaders, like gypsy moths and Asian long-horned beetles, will not grace lunch counters anytime soon, yet where perniciousness meets deliciousness, there is hope.” Rowan Jacobsen writes about Bun Lai and Joe Roman in April’s Outside Magazine.


                                      EAT ME!
                                      hi-green-crab-20120925

                                      New Green Crab Fishery in Canada

                                      Fisheries and Oceans Canada wants to create a commercial green crab fishery on Prince Edward Island. Read more about it here.


                                        EAT ME!
                                        Screenshot 2014-02-17 11.02.17

                                        Invader vs. Invader

                                        Crazy ants may soon displace fire ants from much of the southeastern U.S. and become the new ecologically dominant invasive ant species. Read more here.


                                          EAT ME!
                                          capybara1

                                          Eat the Invaders in Brazil

                                          Fala portugués? Eat the Invaders has been covered by Brazil’s Época magazine. Roast capybara, anyone? Coma as Invasores


                                            EAT ME!

                                            “Foraging is treasure hunting.”

                                            René Redzepi, owner of Noma, twice named best restaurant in the world

                                            Previous post:

                                            Next post: